Today we’re celebrating the 30th birthday of Grouse’s Maltstress and Founder, Twila Henley Soles, with a deliciously refreshing gluten-free beer made by our customers with grains malted and roasted right here in Wellington, Colorado. To Twila, malting is the noble art of growing seed into malt for the purpose of creating a beverage of character. We couldn’t agree more. Malting and roasting ancient gluten-free grains is quite a unique career, to say the least, but when you’re as passionate about bringing alternative, dynamic and flavorful malts to the community as Twila is, there was no escaping the call. To commemorate here’s a bit of Q&A with the Maltstress herself:
Q: We know starting and running a business is not always easy. What drives you to keep going?
A: Our customers. Supplying our brewers and tasting their creations is more rewarding that I ever could have imagined.
Q: What is your favorite part of Grouse Malting and Roasting?
A: May I pick my top 3? #1 Malting! From the touch of our germinating grain to the smelling the batch coming out of our roaster, I greatly enjoy watching a million seeds come alive and being transformed into ingredients our customers can utilize. #2 The relationships. I interact and connect with a variety of individuals on a daily basis, including farmers, team members, and our customers. I appreciate the camaraderie I have with these folks and the experiences they share with me. #3 The Challenge. There is never a dull moment at the Malt House. From troubleshooting to re-thinking process after process to improve our systems, there’s nothing quite like it, and it keeps me on my toes.
Q: What benefits does the gluten-free lifestyle provide?
A: For me, embracing a gluten-free life style was analogous to an improved life experience. The opportunity to be more aware and educated about what I was consuming was reinforced by how much better I felt physically. I’ve never looked back and continue to focus not on what I can’t do, but rather what I can do (and can drink!).
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I became a mother in the summer of 2015 and love spending time with our baby boy. I also enjoy practicing yoga, singing, and picking a little guitar and banjo as well.
So, today we raise a glass and cheers to an awesome new decade for Twila and other craft maltsters, and to many more creative, inventive and, yes, nonconformist years ahead!